13 Freaky Newborn Photos Because Newborn Photos Are Freaky

I love newborns. I love their sleepiness and squishiness and I love how they all look slightly weird, like miniature old men. But I have to say that I find conventional newborn portrait photography really, really, really freaky. All the nakedness, all the oversize hats, all the weird stylized accessories and poses. Why do people want photographs in which their baby is basically depicted as a strange alien doll and/or prop? I don’t understand it! To wit, here are 13 WTF-worthy newborn portraits. Plenty of cute babies, plenty of questionable parent/photographer decision-making.

Confused, Vaguely Christmas Baby

baby-cranberry

This baby is sitting, naked, in a nest of oversize shiny cranberries (Christmas balls?). She looks thrilled!

Photo: ChristopherAllenPhotography via Flickr 

Leaf Baby

leaf-baby

Oh, here’s a random baby that just washed up on this rocky shore! And it looks TOTALLY safe for him or her to be there, balanced precariously near running water!

Photo: Brandonmulnix via Flickr

Newborn Princess

new-born-princess

Gotta start that princess obsession early! Side note: I know that they Photoshop out the hands that support the baby’s heads in these kinds of shots, but I every time I see one of these kinds of photos I’m still like “Newborns can’t do that! That’s not ok! SUPPORT THE HEAD!”

Photo: Emily Starling Photography 

Moonlight Sonata Baby

piano-baby

This one is just weird.

Photo: Muriel215 via Flickr

Baby In A Bag

hanging-baby

I will never ever ever understand what is cute about dangling a very new human in a loosely knitted bag. Why is this a thing?

Photo: Ruby Lane Photography via Flickr

Scariest Stuffed Turtle In The World

creepy-turtle-baby

This is just fucking creepy. This is the one that’s going to haunt me in my dreams.

Photo: Marcia Shields via Flickr

“Chief” Baby

indian-newborn

Cultural appropriation AND awkward posing!

Photo: MimiLACreations on Etsy

Stacked Dr. Seuss Baby

newborn-dr-suess

I get the desire to start them reading early, but….

Photo: Rock Rose Photography

I’ll Never Let You Out Of My Sight + Baby

cute-baby-creepy-dad

Cute baby with scarily overprotective dad.

Photo: Jug Jones via Flickr

Basketball Pillow Baby

basketball-baby

This isn’t that terrible, I guess, but I still think it looks really uncomfortable.

Photo: FrankGuido via Flickr

Baby In A Bag II

baby-bag

Again with the bag. WHY? Seriously, why? Can someone explain to me why?

Photo: Brandonmulnix on Flickr

Abs Baby

abs-baby

Sure, you want to show off your baby, but you also want to show off…your abs?

Photo: Photosavvy via Flickr

Buried Treasure Baby

buried-treasure-baby

“No, I didn’t push this baby out of my vagina, I actually just dug it up on the beach!” Also, I can’t with the wig.

Photo: Hushabye Photography

Go Pats! Baby

newborn-patriots

I hope this baby turns into a person who hates football.

Photo: Photography-on-the.net

If you want to pay a few hundred bucks to immortalize your naked baby in contrived poses with corny props, by all means, go ahead. But I’ll be immortalizing mine with a series of photos that looks much more like the one below:

Normal Family Being Normal With Normal Baby In Normal Environment

normal-newborn

Photo: Joe Wunderlick via Flickr

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    • Cee

      I bet the dad in number 9 is always singing Sting & The Police’s I’ll be Watching You to that baby.

      • Aimee Beff

        It took me a moment to notice him looming in the background and I actually jumped when I did! That picture could use a little more “Daddy loves you” and a little less “Big Brother Is Watching”

    • kay

      When i picked out a photographer to get pictures of my baby the biggest thing I looked for was someone who didn’t do awkward props/poses/photoshop. putting lots of stuff on them only emphasizes how they look like alien old men.

    • CMJ

      Is the baby actually in the bag?!?! WHY?

    • Bethany Ramos

      Um, that’s my baby in the bag… Kidding! The bag stuff really creeps me out too. And the babies dressed as characters look like drunk old men, minus the bones.

    • keelhaulrose

      The heads on arms shots! I can’t stand them. I understand its supposed to be cute, but it looks so uncomfortable and unnatural.
      What is the obsession with making your child look like a plaything?

      • Jallun-Keatres

        How do you even get them like that without waking them up?? I mean, picking up a baby’s head when they’re on their stomach must do something, right?

      • Jallun-Keatres

        How do you even get them like that without waking them up?? I mean, picking up a baby’s head when they’re on their stomach must do something, right?

      • AugustW

        They fill them up with milk/formula, and have the room super warm. They tried it with my daughter at 6 months but she would not sleep. We still ended up getting some cute smiling pictures of her anyway. :)

      • RebeccaS

        You can’t do photos like this with a 6 month old :) you can only do newborn photos within the 1st 2 maybe 3 weeks of baby being born, sounds like you had an inexperienced photographer.

    • Aimee Beff

      State fair prizes have really taken off – it used to be they just gave you a goldfish!

    • Mel

      I don’t actually think they photoshop the hands out of the picture?! I’ve seen how to’s on pinterest…

    • Mel

      I don’t actually think they photoshop the hands out of the picture?! I’ve seen how to’s on pinterest…

    • Mel

      I don’t actually think they photoshop the hands out of the picture?! I’ve seen how to’s on pinterest…

      • RebeccaS

        They always support the newborns head most of these photos are composites with the hands edited out.

    • Kate

      I actually think the Dr. Seuss baby is pretty adorable.

    • Kate

      I actually think the Dr. Seuss baby is pretty adorable.

      • organicpoppy

        I thought so too and actually pinned it on Pinterest so I can remember to do it. Sans glasses, though.

    • BigBlue

      I thought I was the weird one because I don’t get this at all, either. But damn you for making my ovaries itch with all those cute babies!

    • Rachel Sea

      I like the Dr Seuss one, but the looming dad is seriously creeping me out. I need to go look at pictures of kittens now.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      I think a lot of these are cute. They aren’t my style, and I wouldn’t do them, but they made me go “aww”.

      • Shelly Lloyd

        Me too. I love newborns.

    • Fondue

      Not only is the hovering turtle pic dumb, but I really don’t need to see the kid’s umbilical stump. Gross.

      • Zettai

        Yeah, that got me more than the turtle too.

      • Zettai

        Yeah, that got me more than the turtle too.

    • Jallun-Keatres

      That pirate wig is squee-tastic!

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      To be fair, if my husband looked that good without a shirt you can be damn sure I’d have gotten him to do something shirtless with the kid…you know…because the kid is shirtless…..so, it must be. But I strongly suspect that baby peed on that dude at least once.

      And the “normal” pic? It’s cute but it’s so matchy matchy (everything is white and soft and perfect and that’s totally how everything always is around our house) that it bothers me more than some of these do.

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      To be fair, if my husband looked that good without a shirt you can be damn sure I’d have gotten him to do something shirtless with the kid…you know…because the kid is shirtless…..so, it must be. But I strongly suspect that baby peed on that dude at least once.

      And the “normal” pic? It’s cute but it’s so matchy matchy (everything is white and soft and perfect and that’s totally how everything always is around our house) that it bothers me more than some of these do.

      • http://carrie-murphy.com/ Carrie Murphy

        LOL that’s a good point! But I like it because it features a baby just being a baby, not in a weird leaf or all propped up with a wig on.

    • Aussiemum

      If my hubby had abs like that he would never, ever, have a shirt on. Naked baby or not. But those bubs are super cute. My newborns all looked like wrinkled aliens or cone heads. I’m looking at you second child! We were actually looking at baby pics the other day, looking back now, the last one looked a lot like Yoda (pointy ears and wrinkles face) till he was about 3 months old. Not sure how we missed it back then, but now we can clearly see it!

    • ChelseaBFH

      Does anyone else think that the sleeping naked babies in weird poses look scarily lifeless? It creeps me out. I know I’m not totally alone – I have a friend who can’t bear to look at the “babies inside of things” genre of baby photography because it makes her think of tiny coffins.

      • M.

        yes! i think they look dead and it totally creeps me out! my SIL got a pic of her twins in a pose similar to the princess one (sans crown) and used it on their cake at their baptism, which was even creepier. but yeah, they remind me of those pictures of dead children they would take in like the 1800′s. *shudder*

    • AnonyMouse

      I highly doubt that the leaf baby is actually perched there alone. He was probably either photoshopped there, or the parent was acting as a spotter and then photoshopped out. One of my friends is a photographer, and that’s what she does on shots like that. The parents are right there, and then she just edits them out later. But I totally get what you’re saying on the awkward posing weirdness. It looks like the babies are little contortionists and I have no idea how that could be comfortable for the poor little guys and girls.

    • Shelly Lloyd

      When I was in college I would pick up some extra money doing the holiday shifts at a Sears Photo Studio. You can get the newborns to pose with their head on their arms like the princess one. I never like to do it. We also had black back-drops with small slits and match black gloves so that a parent would be able to help support the baby. (If you look at the first one, the Christmas one, you can make out the outline of the parent’s hands holding the baby up behind the back-drop.)
      We also had several large pillows that we could mold to help support the baby in different poses. One of my favorite props we had was sets of fairy wings and angles wings. I would put one of the floor cloths down, put the wings on it, then put the baby on top of the wings and shoot from above. Didn’t matter if they were awake of sleeping. It usually came out cute.
      Some of the babies were great sleepers and would sleep though the whole shoot, others would wake up. Some of them you can work with awake, others, not so much.
      But certainly one of the perks of working in the studio was getting to hold the babies :-) I miss that part. I would love to go back into studio photography, but the only time I know I would be hired would be for a seasonal position during the holiday. And I need a more steady income. And I HATE, HATE, HATE shooting weddings. Brides are just assholes all around. I can not deal with them.

      • http://www.ambiencechaser.com/ Elizabeth Licata

        Oh my gosh, like those Victorian “Hidden Mother Photographs,” where they couldn’t get small kids to stay still long enough to be photographed, so they stuck the mother in the picture and covered her with a blanket or a rug and tried to pass her off as furniture. They’re awesome, but a bit creepy. http://www.retronaut.com/2011/10/the-invisible-mother-1800s/

        I didn’t realize things like that still happened!

      • BubbleyToes

        Creepiest thing everrrr!!!

      • BubbleyToes

        Creepiest thing everrrr!!!

      • Shelly Lloyd

        I have never seen an antique photo of the “hidden mom” thanks for sharing the link. At least at the studio I worked out we didn’t just throw a rug over the mom where you could still see her skirts, lol.
        And in that first photo of the baby with the Christmas decorations, when the managers reviewed our shoots, that would be one they would point out and and remind us not to be so obvious.

    • martman

      Why would it even be acceptable to make pictures of babies in bags? It’s like saying you want them to suffocate…

    • Real Photographer

      Honestly, I have to disagree with the poster on the last one. I’m a professional photographer. You can do awesome newborn posing with props and etc. Although all these pics stink horribly with everything from the posing to the white balance and other technical issues. The last one is good although the baby has an awkward face so I wouldn’t post that one. As for the leaf baby, that is obviously a composite with hands on the baby at all times. Check out babyasart.com That is the kind of work I do-great posing and timeless photos. The ones you posted are just done by what we call “faux togs”. The abs baby one is great, minus the conversion being gray. Fix that and we’re golden ;)